Also known as: basic sediment and water

BS&W refers to the volume of non-hydrocarbon contaminants contained in a cargo of crude oil. Usually, this is made up of dirt (sediment) and water.

Lower BS&W is better. Acceptable levels of BS&W are 1% or lower.

Sediment and water are separated from crude typically by letting the crude rest in a storage tank until the sediment and water settle to the bottom. Water can be pumped out, but sediment usually accumulates in the tank until the tank is taken out of service and cleaned.

McKinsey uses cookies to improve site functionality, provide you with a better browsing experience, and to enable our partners to advertise to you. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this Site, and how you can decline them, is provided in our cookie policy. By using this Site or clicking on "OK", you consent to the use of cookies.